Gender: Male Age: 53 Location: Las Vegas, Nv
|Introduction: Finding a stolen ship|
I was feeling like shit and sitting in my small kitchen with a towel over my head as I breathed in the steam from a bowl of herbs and water. When someone began banging on my door I was tempted to just let them continue. When it didn’t let up I groaned and pulled the towel away and stood.
I walked through the house and yanked the door open, “WHAT!”
The merchant stepped back, “are you the thief taker?”
I almost slammed the door, “not today.”
I started to close the door when he stepped forward, “please I need help.”
I looked at him and he blurted, “someone stole my ship!”
I blinked, “how can anyone steal a ship? Just walk through the docks and you’ll find it.”
He shook his head, “I’m Captain Trinadad. All my men were killed and left on the dock. I looked everywhere and at every slip.”
He took a breath, “find my ship and I will pay you ten gold pieces.”
Now that was tempting and I thought about it before sighing, “what’s the name of your ship?”
He smiled faintly, “Strange Duck.”
I looked at him to see if he was serious and shook my head, “where can I find you?”
He smiled, “the Captain’s Tavern.”
I nodded and stepped back to close the door. I went to wash and dress before leaving and heading towards the docks. I started asking questions and got the same answers most of the time. Captain Trinadad was an arrogant ass and stingy beyond a fault. His crew had been liars, thieves and some said pirates.
It took me two hours to find the ship and when I did I had to shake my head. I headed for the Captain’s Tavern and walked in and looked around. Everything looked nice and well kept and all the men seemed well groomed. I crossed the room to the table Captain Trinadad sat at, “I found your ship.”
He grinned as he stood up, “excellent.”
When we were back on the dock where he had originally moored his ship he looked around and looked at me frowning. I gestured down into the water and he leaned forward before straightening, “they sank her!”
I shrugged, “it looks like it.”
He glared at me before spinning to walk away, “you aren’t getting anything for this!”
I watched him leave before walking to the end of the dock and sitting beside an old sailor mending a fishing net, “So did they cut holes or do something else to sink her?”
The old man grinned and absently tossed a bottle to me, “drink that, it will help with the sore throat and the headache.”
I looked at him as my head continued to throbbed and opened the bottle to smell. What I smelled wasn’t rum or even alcohol, it almost smelled like a sweet herb tea. I took a drink and sighed as it soothed its way down my throat. I handed to bottle back, “thanks.”
He nodded, “that time of year.”
He went back to the net but glanced down the dock, “was me and I wanted to sink a ship I wouldn’t damage it. I would probably open the bilge valves.”
I glanced at the ship before grinning, “want to buy a ship?”
He snorted, “get me a bill of sale and I might.”
I gestured to the bottle, “where can I get some of that?”
He gestured to a tiny shop just up the street, “Mother Sarah makes it.”
After a stop at the shop I headed to the harbor master’s office. I explained about the sunken ship and the deal with the captain. He told me to have another captain witness Captain Trinadad’s refusal to pay and he would grant me salvage rights at the docking slip. I walked into the Captain’s Tavern and across to Trinadad, “you owe me ten gold pieces.”
He snorted and leaned back, “I’m not paying you for a ship underwater.”
I smiled, “you made the deal, ten gold pieces to find the ship, nothing was said about only if it was still afloat.”
He sneered, “I’m not paying you shit.”
I glanced around at the few men at other tables, “anyone a ship’s captain?”
Several nodded and I smiled, “I’ll pay a gold crown to each of you if you tell the Harbor master what this sorry piece of shit just said.”
Trinadad snorted, “What is he going to do?”
I ignored him as two captains stood and led them out and we walked back to the harbor master. An hour later I was back at the dock above the sunken ship, the old fisherman had moved out onto the dock.
He smiled as he drank from his bottle, “you need to swim down and dig a hole under the side of the ship. When you make a tunnel push or pull the ropes through. Tie large barrels to half the ropes and pull each one down to the bottom edge of the ship.”
He smiled at me, “tie barrels to the ropes on the other side and pull them down. It should lift the ship so you can use more ropes and barrels until it breaks the surface, close the bilge and bail her out.”
I glanced at him and pulled out my purse. I held up five gold coins, “do you know a few men that need work?”
He looked at me and the coins before nodding, “and you want to sell the ship?”
I smiled, “knowing that asshole Trinadad, he probably has a pay chest somewhere aboard too.”
I looked at the old man and he grinned, “and after?”
I laughed, “we wait and put the word out about raising the ship. When he takes her, I take him to the goal for piracy.”
The old man laughed and stuck out his hand, “deal!”
I took a sip of my own bottle while the old man left. An hour later a dozen men followed him back to the dock carrying barrels and rope. I stood and watched with the old man as the men took turns diving down into the water. Finally they started tying ropes to barrels and pulling them down to the ship. It was getting dark when the ship surfaced.
A couple of large two man pumps were brought and we took turns pumping the water out until one man managed to close the bilge. After that things went quickly and I headed into the boat with a lantern. I found a small chest in the captain’s quarters and brought it up. I opened it while all the men watched and grinned as I began dividing it up with all of them.
I headed back below and started collecting weapons the captain and his crew had in a large weapons locker. I put everything in a large duffle before grinning at the old man, “want to start spreading the word?”
He chuckled as the other men laughed and walked away. The old man and I had talked about this. The story that was passed had to include me getting the salvage rights from the harbor master. I moved into the shadows on the dock beside a thick pillar. When it got light I moved onto the ship and just inside the hatch leading to the Captain’s cabin.
I saw the old man briefly just before noon and straightened. He slipped away somewhere and barely an hour passed before I heard a few men on the dock. I waited until they came aboard before coming out. Captain Trinadad was with them and I smiled, “this is my ship, leave.”
He sneered and gestured, “gut him and throw him over.”
The six men with him moved towards me and I pulled my sticks and slid forward. I lashed out and to the side to break the first man’s wrist as he reached out and jabbed into another’s stomach when he rushed me. I shifted and slid aside as I brought my other stick down on the side of his head.
I used a back swing into a third man’s head as he leaped and turned to let him fall to the deck as I kicked out and into the groin of a fourth man. As he folded I cracked him over the head and moved towards the last two men. They were looking at each other and pulled daggers. I shook my head and moved to one side and they followed and tried to move closer.
I shifted and seemed to hesitate and one lunged. I slapped a stick down on the knife hand before swinging across with my other stick. It slammed into his head and I turn to snap a stick down into the last man’s wrist. I slugged him with my fist around a stick and did it again until he staggered back.
I swung a faint with my left stick and brought the right around when he clumsily tried to block. There was a thunk as my stick hit his head and I started walking towards Trinadad as the man fell. I absently lashed out and struck the first man cradling his broken wrist before slowly circling the captain.
He was crouching with a dagger in each hand and kept fainting towards me. I waited until one went to far and snapped a stick down on the hand. The dagger spun away but he was lunging with the other dagger. I struck with the other stick and knocked it out of line with my body. I stepped into Trinadad and brought my knee up sharply.
He was lifted from the deck and screamed before dropping to his knees. I brought a stick down and across to strike him in the side of the head. I looked around as he dropped to the deck and put my sticks away. I moved to each man and tied their hands behind their backs. It took me awhile to revive them enough to get them on their feet.
The old man appeared with a half dozen men and grinned as he walked aboard. We bargained and I let him buy the ship cheap before pulling Trinadad and the men off. I pulled them after me and through the city as it woke. When I shoved them into the guard building the day and night commander were still together and only shook their heads.
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